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Cape Town, Overberg & Garden Route Highlights Tour

baboon.jpg 8-days guided small group tour - perfect for meeting real South Africans, experiencing our unique culture, fauna & flora highlights in beautiful areas of the Peninsula, Winelands, Overberg, West Coast and Garden Route.

Tour details:
  • Quoted minimum 2 guests – per person sharing
  • Accommodation arrangements – 3*/4* comfortable accommodation chosen for its unique character
  • Dates of tour: depending on your preference
  • Special dietary requirements – please advise
  • Guided tour held by professional guide who has a good local knowledge
  • Any other special interests – please advise
SUMMARISED ITINERARY:
  • Day 1: City Orientation Tour, local arts & crafts and Table Mountain
  • Day 2: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve & Boulders Beach African Penguin Colony
  • Day 3: Route 62 to Oudtshoorn including Ostrich tour
  • Day 4: Meerkat encounter & drive via Outeniqua Pass to Knysna
  • Day 5: Garden Route & Overberg to Hermanus
  • Day 6: Hermanus
  • Day 7: Hermanus to Stellenbosch – day in the Winelands area
  • Day 8: Fossil Park & San Culture Centre

Day 1:

Highlights: CITY ORIENTATION TOUR, CRAFT GALLERY & TABLE MOUNTAIN
  • Start your tour of South Africa with a drive through city orientation tour.
  • Also visit a wire art gallery with the opportunity to visit the workshop and see the artists at work.
  • Then visit one of South Africa's most famous landmarks Table Mountain (Weather dependent)
  • The rocky outcrops and steep cliffs of the mountain play home to a number of plants and animals. Table Mountain alone is home to approximately 1470 species of plants - more than the entire British Isles. Many of these are endemic (meaning they occur nowhere else on Earth).
  • Exhilarating trip in a rotating cable car to the top of Table Mountain where the Dassie (Rock Hyrax), the closest living relative to the elephant, roam wild. Be guided through the natural wonders on the flat quartzite top whilst enjoying an awe-inspiring view of the Cape of Storms.
Overnight: Cape Town area

Day 2:

Highlights: KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS, NATURAL WONDERS OF CAPE POINT & AFRICAN PENGUINS
  • In the morning visit the breathtaking Kirstenbosch, one of the world's most famous botanical gardens and renowned for the splendour and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
  • Be enriched by the incredible beauty of the Cape Floral Kingdom at its best. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. An exquisite trip no visitor to Cape Town can go without.
  • Visit the Useful plants section of the gardens, as well as the Fragrance garden and the conservatory, which displays South African plants that cannot be grown in the outdoor gardens. Here, you will find plants from hot, dry deserts, shady forests and high mountain peaks. The main house, dominated by a large baobab tree, features succulents from the arid regions of southern Africa and special collections of bulbs, ferns and alpines.
  • Also tour to Cape Point in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is managed by the South African National Parks. The Nature Reserve is recognized globally for its extraordinary land formation, rich and diverse fauna and unique flora. It is the south western tip of the African continent.
  • Fauna includes, to name a few, mountain zebras, antelope, about 250 species of birds and several troops of baboons. Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and rich biodiversity exist almost within a metropolitan area - the thriving and cosmopolitan City of Cape Town.
  • Also included in this ecological tour is a visit to Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, where there will be unsurpassed opportunities for photography and observation of the rare African Penguin. From mating to molting, breeding to bathing, their daily lives are played out within a few meters of fascinated visitors.
Overnight: Cape Town area
* Breakfast included.

Day 3:

Highlights: ROUTE 62 towards OUDTSHOORN including OSTRICH FARM TOUR
  • The route travelled today goes through the mountains - across the Little Karoo, famous for its rich geology and dramatic landscapes.
  • Travel on through the Montagu Pass and experience the most awe-inspiring rock formations.
  • Also pass through beautiful towns such as Barrydale & Calitzdorp before reaching Oudtshoorn in the late afternoon.
  • Enjoy an ostrich farm tour en route, which includes an explanation of the hatching and rearing of the chicks; mating and grading of ostriches; characteristics and special features of the ostrich; and the collection of the eggs. At all times during the course of the farm tour, visitors are in close proximity with these unique and peculiar birds. The tour also includes information on allied ostrich products, such as the feather industry, tanning and curing of the leather, and the valuable ostrich meat industry.
Overnight: Oudtshoorn area
* Breakfast included.

Day 4:

Highlights: MEERKAT TOUR WITH BIOLOGIST, GARDEN ROUTE
  • In the morning there will be the opportunity to experience a Meerkat tour with a research biologist (weather and group size dependent).
  • An experienced, active wildlife research biologist and conservationist, who is the world's foremost expert on wild meerkat behaviour gives you this opportunity. Through his intensive research and relentless dedication he now offers you the opportunity to benefit from his unique approach to wildlife conservation - to watch wild meerkats, from very close.
    He has spent more time working with wild meerkats (11 years) than anyone else in the world, and his expertise has culminated in numerous scientific publications (over 14), as well as documentary films with such prestigious groups as National Geographic, the BBC and the Discovery Channel since 1993.
  • Then travel over the scenic Outeniqua Pass into the heart of the Garden Route. Overnight along the Garden Route.
Overnight: Garden Route area
* Breakfast included.

Day 5:

HIGHLIGHTS: SCENIC DRIVE THROUGH THE GARDEN ROUTE & OVERBERG TO HERMANUS – POSSIBLE STOPS ALONG THE WAY - ALOE FACTORY, SWELLENDAM
  • A wonderful, scenic drive through the Garden Route & Overberg countryside stopping at highlights along the way.
  • A possible stop would be at the town of Swellendam, the historic heart of the Overberg – the 3rd oldest settlement in SA. Visit to the Drostdy Museum (built in 1746) & Historical Buildings with its unique collection of historical antiques.
  • Lunch (own account) can be enjoyed at the Old Goal coffee shop – a wonderful community project offering excellent home made, traditional food and interesting local crafts.
  • Drive to Hermanus via the scenic back roads
Overnight: Hermanus area
* Breakfast included.

Day 6:

Highlights: HERMANUS AREA – FERNKLOOF NATURE RESERVE AND HEMEL & AARDE WINE ROUTE

Enjoy the day in Hermanus. This picturesque seaside town and its surroundings are well known for its excellent wines, beautiful coastline, amazing floral diversity.

Today visit Fernkloof Nature Reserve, a tranquil reserve set between mountain and sea in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region where the flora is at its richest. The Reserve protects coastal and mountain fynbos and a small patch of evergreen forest.

Regarding bird watching - species most likely to be seen include Sunbirds, Cape Sugar Bird, Rock Thrush and Cape Batis. However, up to 130 species have been recorded in the reserve.
Also drive along the Hemel & Aarde Valley for a wine tasting at some of the breathtaking wineries along this route.

Overnight: Hermanus area
* Breakfast included.

Day 7:

Highlights: HISTORICAL AND SCENIC HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WINELANDS AREA
  • Visit estates such as the historical Vergelegen wine estate, which is part of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative - a pioneering partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector. The goals are to minimise the further loss of threatened natural habitat, and to contribute to sustainable wine production, through the adoption of biodiversity guidelines by the South African wine industry. Beautiful Cape Dutch Homestead and gardens.
  • Further guiding through the winelands, including cheese tasting and time to explore the beautiful Franschhoek and Paarl areas
  • Also spend time in South Africa’s second oldest town, Stellenbosch, home to the University of Stellenbosch and some other beautiful heritage sites and museums.
Overnight: Stellenbosch area
* Breakfast included.

Day 8:

Highlights: FOSSIL PARK & SAN CULTURE CENTRE
  • After breakfast there is a chance to take a peek at how life on the West Coast was 5 million years ago – visit the West Coast Fossil Park for a guided tour! The many thousands of fossil bones found at this site have attracted worldwide attention.
Five million years ago the Cape west coast was very different from what it is today with a wide range of now extinct animals living in riverine forests, wooded savanna, the adjacent sea and on offshore islands. Phosphate mining operations at Langebaanweg uncovered one of the richest fossil sites in the world. Over the past 40 years bones of 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science have been recovered.

Then visit an 850 ha nature reserve on the West Coast where impeccably renovated old farm buildings house a San Culture & Education Centre, a place dedicated to the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, the San or Bushmen. It is a choice destination for the discerning tourist who wishes to meet and learn about South Africa’s First People, while enjoying a beautiful natural setting in the unique West Coast environment.

A fascinating insight into the culture, heritage, knowledge and contemporary life of the San by experienced San guides. The three hour tour includes the following:
  • Ride on an open vehicle through the landscape viewing game and breathtaking vistas
  • Nature walk learning about tracking skills and botanical knowledge
  • Visit to a replica traditional village for fascinating demonstrations of ancient tools and other extraordinary aspects of the San’s traditional way of life
  • Refreshing drink at the Boma, the highest point of the landscape for a captivating introduction to the tones and clicks of the San languages
  • Cultural display at the Photo Gallery and the screening of an ethnographic film at the Audio-visual Theatre.
Travel back to Cape Town along the well-known Bloubergstrand with beautiful views onto Table Mountain.
* Breakfast included.

Looking forward to welcoming you to the CAPE area!


* Price indication per person sharing for above described small group 8-day tour
min. 2 guests - ZAR 15 950.00

Included in the tour:

  • Accommodation – Comfortable Guest Houses and/or Hotels
  • Transport in air-conditioned, comfortable vehicle
  • Licensed and trained guide/driver
  • Activities as per itinerary and entrance & conservation fees
  • Meals as indicated per itinerary
  • Payment transaction costs incurred in South Africa
Unfortunately not included in tour:
  • International & domestic flights
  • Additional / optional activities
  • Tips, gratuities and porterage
  • All drinks
  • Meals not specified as included
  • Items of a personal nature incl. laundry, telephone and curios
Please note:
  • Please ensure that all travellers are covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy
  • All business of Eco-Tourism Investments t/a The Eco-ist TM is undertaken subject to its standard terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on request.
  • No bookings have been made and the final tour itinerary & cost would depend on availability at the time of booking confirmation.
  • Costs are based on a minimum of 2 persons on the trip.
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Tour Associate Wildlife and Environmental
Society of South Africa
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Tour Associate FTTSA
Tour Associate Responsible Tourism Cape Town

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Meg & Melisa, September 2012
So happy to hear from you! :) 

We had the best time in Cape Town and were so happy to have you as our guide.  The 2-on-1 set up could have been somewhat awkward, but I wholeheartedly agree that it was a pleasure to tour with you.  It felt like we had a (very knowledgeable) friend showing us around.  We should definitely keep in touch and meet up in Napa someday. 

Thank you for everything!
Meg
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